My book review of 'The Light We Carry' by Michelle Obama
Subtitled 'Overcoming in Uncertain Times' this is a balm, a comfort, an encouragement and a challenge in all that it contains from the former First Lady about coping with modern life.
As Michelle Obama always seems a very calm, composed and centred person, it's interesting to read about the things she finds difficult and to get tips on how to adopt her attitude to life.
Something that Michelle Obama is known for is the statement 'they go low, so we go high' and it has never been more relevant as it is today. Whether it's things we read on social media, engaging with the politics of our nation, or responding to someone in the street, if we're struggling with a poor behaviour, rather than stooping to the same level, we should seek to be better, kinder, friendlier, politer, happier, she suggests.
She also advises us to set big goals, to want to be change-makers, but to break up tasks into their component parts and celebrate the small victories.
This isn't a saccharine tome. Michelle shares details of many of the significant moments during her life, primarily while her husband was President, when she struggled to deal with difficult decisions, people or situations. She comes over as real and modest, warm and compassionate, and the lessons she's learnt are salutary, inspiring and energising.
She has particular pointers for young people and those dealing with anxiety. She suggests how we might respond to social media and all the many pressures of life today. And she believes knitting is a good therapeutic tool!
This isn't a how-to, bullet point guide. She shares her hard-won philosophy on life with the reader in memories of the people she's met and the situations she's faced. And I found it very uplifting and reassuring. I'll be keeping this book in a key place on the bookshelf in order to dip into it again when I need a moment of strength and inspiration.